Demons Dance Alone is a live film by The Residents, documenting their 2002 tour promoting the album of the same name.
In the months following 9/11, The Residents threw themselves into an intense studio projects, Demons Dance Alone, a four part song cycle themed around reactions to grief. It was released in late 2002 and was followed by a world tour that lasted from 2002 - 2003.
11 of the first leg's 17 shows were filmed, with audio being recorded on November 15th, at the Warsaw Theatre in New York City; the final performance of their Autumn round of shows.
To film the concerts a Resident who was not performing on stage was given a camera stabilisation rig to attach to their body, so that they could film the shows whilst roaming the stage freely, giving a unique directorial style separating it from most concert films, which uses an audience perspective for most of the show.
There was one problem when filming the concerts; the stage lights had been designed so that the group appeared in complete darkness, aside from lights being held by the performers or stagehands. As such the footage shot by the roaming Resident was of very low quality. The 13th Anniversary Show, which applied similar lighting techniques, had equally difficult problems when filming, and was never fully shot.
To solve this situation, the stage props and costumes were redesigned to include infrared lights, as so that they would appear on camera. But this produced a strange and unappealing sight, with shadows becoming entirely too clear and revealing. The Residents, always up for a challenge, saw this as an opportunity to test their collective video editing skills, and began editing the frankly poor video footage they had shot into the finally released film.
One month prior to the DVD's release the track Wolverines, from the films soundtrack, was released on the Almaviva Records compilation album Absolutely Live 2003. Promotional copies of the DVD were sold on the third and final leg of the Demons Dance Alone tour, which began on September 18th, 2003. This was also sold with a free copy of the Golden Goat DVD. The official 'directors cut' DVD was released one week later on September 25th, and the standard version followed in November.
- King Kong (Steiner)
- Betty's Body
- Mickey Macaroni
- Mr. Wonderful
- My Brother Paul
- The Car Thief
- Ms. Wonderful
- Baha (Baja)
- From The Plains To Mexico
- Golden Goat (Residents/Lithman)
- The Shoe Salesman (Residents/Poole/Janssen)
- Honey Bear
- Life Would Be Wonderful
- Demons Dance Alone
Easter Eggs, Directors Cut Only
- L'Oeil Du Cyclone
- The Impossible Dream
Just like all things Residential, this live DVD takes a much different perspective than most performance video. The footage was shot onstage during the US tour by a black figure who roamed the stage wearing a mysterious contraption. This odd apparatus, a rig for camera stabilisation, facilitated the lengthy shooting times needed to record each night's performance. As a result, the camera-man was able to interact with the performers in real time and, consequently, the footage is not restricted to an audience perspective but freely explores the stage.
The lighting design for the Demons Dance Alone tour was also extreme, with the stage deliberately kept quite dark. But, while this atmospheric lighting crated a strong mood during the performance, it also resulted in additional difficulties for the video taping. The solution was to flood the stage with IR (infrared) light and shoot using the camera's Night Mode.
But, while one problem was solved, others were created: the IR light made everything green, was grainy and also lacked contrast.
And, perhaps worst of all, it revealed the set in an unflattering way, while failing to support the lighting design of the show. The IR lights unflinchingly looked into and recorded darkness and shadow, places no audience should ever see.
As a result, these problems became the creative basis for the design of this DVD. Since it was impossible to show the stage as it appeared in normal stage light, the footage, approximately 15 hours worth, was reprocessed digitally to create color and contrast. Also, effects were used to bring greater definition to the images and to stylise the individual songs. This process lifted the production out of the concept of a documentary and into the interpretive world of graphic stylisation.
- Audio Recorded By: Julian Lauzzana
- Digital LLC assisted By: Isaac Peachin
- Music & Surround Mix By: The Residents
- Filmed throughout the US, October & November 2002.
- Audio Recorded November 15th 2002, Warsaw Ballroom, Brooklyn, NY
- Produced By: The Cryptic Corporation
- Directed By: The Residents
- Images processed for cover by: Pornoknow Graphcs
- Graphics Based On Photographs By: Henk Braam
- Demons Sound Engineer: Ger Arts